Carol Platt Liebau: Red Fridays -- For the Troops!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Red Fridays -- For the Troops!

Earlier today, I received an email about Red Fridays. One way the "Silent Majority" can show our support and admiration for our troops is by wearing red on Fridays . . .

For a fuller, more eloquent explanation of the practice and what it signifies, check out PalosVerdesBlog.

This year, let's make Black Friday turn red! I'll be wearing red on Friday, and I hope you will, too.


Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Color me bemused, but why don't you all just buy yourself some more little ribbon-shaped magnets for your SUVs? It's rather sad that genuiune patriotism has been replaced by completely meaningless symbolism.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Ruth Anne Adams said...

Mr. Twister:
What does "genuine patriotism" look like from your perspective?

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better yet Carol, why don't you enlist? Or why don't you call for George W. Bush to repeal the tax cuts for the wealthy so we can make sure the troops have good enough equipment? Or why don't you do something more than banal and empty symbolism?

Beacause Carol probably thinks that the 101st fighting keyboardists are actually accomplishing something.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Steph said...


Ignore these buffoons. Up until five months ago I wore blues or BDUs to work. Even on Fridays. Now I'm a reservist (I had a baby and she took priority, but I want her to know I'm still willing to do something for what I believe in.)

Speaking of doing something for what we believe in, I like the idea of Red Fridays, and I love the idea of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists (Yankee Doodle to you, too, "anonymous" coward.) Keep speaking up for us, in whatever form you choose. "Doing your part" comes in more forms than just enlisting. And guess what, for someone who was active duty for seven years, I thank all those who put ribbon-shaped magnets on your "SUVs" and really meant they supported the troops (which means you support the war effort. Most military folks support the war effort. We know why we're fighting.) My dad was called a baby-killer and spit on after Vietnam--it's a grand thing that people finally realize and appreciate the sacrifices military folks have made, not just now, but over the years. We need to win this thing--to do it right and stay the course!

So, Mr. Twister, take your snide, self-righteous comments and shove 'em. I'll take "little ribbon-shaped magnets" over your mealy-mouthed "we support the troops by condescending to know what they think and want...they obviously want us to bring their poor, stupid little uneducated selves home" tripe any day.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Steph, with all due gratitude to you for having served our country, you need to check the dosage on your meds.

I've posted almost as much as Carol on this blog, and you would be hard pressed to find an example of where I have condescended to the troops, pretended to know what they wanted, or claimed they were uneducated.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Ruth Anne, that is a difficult question as I define it much like the SC used to define pornography--I know it when I see it. I guess the only constant is that genuine patriotism should require some measure of personal sacrifice.

If you want to see genuine patriotism, enlist in the military, write a letter to your Senator or Representative opposing cuts in Veteran's benefits and the VA, pray for the safe return of the soldiers in the field.

I'm not saying that people who put ribbon-shaped magnets on their cars are not good Americans, or don't care about the troops. I am saying that as far as patriotism goes ribbon-magents and fashion selections are such small sacrifices that they are mostly meaningless symbolism.

3:31 PM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

instead of wearing red, house a homeless vet.

instead of wearing red, feed a veteran's family who will be cut from the food stamp program.

instead of wearing red, write your Representatives and ask them why they tried to cut soldier's pay and benefits.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Ruth Anne Adams said...

Mr. Twister:
Thanks for that thoughtful response. I must say that since I posed the question, I have been musing on it myself. As you know, I served on active duty in the Army for 3.5 years, during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. I believe that my patriotism grew from that time of service. I recall the first time I went to a graduation ceremony at the Airborne School. They played all sorts of patriotic songs, old and new. The National Anthem played and, as a uniformed soldier, I stood, saluted Old Glory, really thought about the words and realized, "Oh my God. I am willing to die for that symbol of freedom. It is bigger than me. And I'm willing to die for it." A tear trickled down my cheek and I knew at that moment that I was a patriot.

Since then, what have I done? I wear a camoflauge band on my wrist everyday that says, "Support Our Troops". I make it a point to stop any soldier I see and thank him or her for their service. I ask about their travels. As a family, we pray for them every night. As a soldier who learned how to be a soldier from the senior officers who were platoon leaders and company commanders in Viet Nam, I support, not just the troops, but their mission. I believe what we are doing in the Middle East is radical and risky. But I also believe it is right.

As a veteran, I don't claim a right to speak that is higher than any other citizen. I don't believe that my veteran status grants me anything more than the fond, wonderful personal chance to say, "I did what I could, when I could, to defend my country." And yet, given the profound divide in this country today over this Global War on Terrorism, I am left asking myself, "is it enough?"

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Steph said...

Mr. Twister,

I know how often you remark on this site. I'm a regular reader and have often read your comments and been slightly appalled by the lack of respect towards Carol's comments. Additionally, some of my comments weren't aimed at you (or not just at you), but at "anonymous" or at many folks who share your views who DO condescend to the troops, etc. Look at the vitriol of my comments in that light. This is also one topic concerning which I am a bit biased (um, guess you could tell?) I made a couple assumptions that may very well have been wrong, but many people who have expressed the views you have expressed on this website have also expressed "poor little deluded troops" opinions. I apologize, and happily, if I assumed incorrectly about you.

My husband (also AD AF) read your response to my comment and had this to say:

"I didn't go into the AF thinking I would be thanked for it. Actually, I went in knowing that people would think I was nuts for doing it--or even worse, would "spit" on me for doing it. That was the late 90s and the military still carried the "stain" of the Vietnam war on it, with all the hatred of the Baby Boomers who opposed the war. It wasn't until after 9/11 that I would put stickers on my car, go places in my uniform or leave anything in my car that would identify me as military. After 9/11, people on the street started to thank me for my service when I went somewhere in uniform, started to support what we did for a living, asked kind questions instead of sneering rhetorical ones. Vietnam hit veterans of that war hard because of the betrayal of Americans at home--they were spit upon and looked down on. My dad (husband's dad) fought in the war and it's only been in the past few years, thirty-plus years later, that he is starting to move on and heal from it. This is due in part in to the changes we've seen in public attitude."

My dad (Steph's dad) had a similar fear in the 80s as my husband did in the late 90s. He had a real fear that someone would threaten or harm his family, so he allowed no stickers on our cars or anything that showed we were military besides the base stickers we needed to get on base. He didn't just fear terrorists, he feared the same people that would so casually call folks "babykillers" and spit on troops--for all of their peacenik words...their actions were often more violent.

Anyway, neither my dad nor my husband are paranoid people, nor do either of them require medications--you can believe them to be reasonable and sincere in their beliefs if I seem a bit deranged to you. However, I assure you that the only meds I've required recently were prenatal vitamins and I certainly hope it's too soon to be ordering any more of those, as much as I love my 7 month old daughter...

As for the things you call "meaningless symbolism"...they aren't meaningless to us. It blows me away every time I see a ribbon or any time someone thanks me. The bog supporters amaze me. The care package programs amaze me. The money raising amazes me. The red shirts amaze me. And I love it. It hasn't always been that way. We've been isolated from the rest of the country for 30 years and we're still cautious of being smacked around in public. You'll have to forgive the bulldog in me--the people I love most in my life have sacrificed much for this country (and this means my mom and MIL, husband, our siblings and now my daughter, not just my dad or FIL). The "why don't you all" attitude sets that bulldog in me a'growlin'. It ain't the meds...

9:36 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Steph, thanx for the response.

I am glad that seeing vehicles with ribbon magnets holds meaning for you. I hope when you see people wearing red on Friday it will hold the same meaning.

I do want to thank you, your husband, and your respective fathers for standing up and being willing to serve. God bless you, and have a happy Thanksgiving.

11:31 PM  

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